Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.

Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.

By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.

As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.

But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.

While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.

The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...

Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.

And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Longines ChronographMens Military Style 1930's Longines Factory Vintage Watch Chronograph FunctionVintage Original Longines Gold Automatic WristwatchLongines Vintage Flagship Gold Capped Auto Date Mens Watch5x Signed Vintage 1958 Longines Mechanical Watch - 14k Solid Gold BezelDiamond Labyrinth! Mens Longines Watch Factory, Vintage Skeleton Watch From 1905Vintage Longines 10l Military Watch Stainless Steel 1940’sMens Longines " Conquest Gmt " 18k Gold/ss Quartz W/braceletUnique Vintage Longines Automatic Watch Cool Spiderweb Dial Stainless Steel CaseVintage 1970's? Longines Mechanical Watch [hand Winding] Beautiful Condition! Longines Flagship Gold /stainless Cal. 341 Automatic 17 Jewels VintageLongines Evidenza Automatic Date Mens Watch L Series Stainless Band *box&papers*Vintage Longines 14 Karat Solid Gold Mens Watch Circa 1940s WorksVintage Men's 14k Yellow Gold Longines Hand-winding Watch! Excellent! #h2Great Dial!!! Vintage 1960's Men's Longines 17j Starburst Dial Mechanical WatchLongines Flagship Early 60's With 30ls Movement. Nice Vintage Condition. Longines 14kt Solid Gold Fancy Case, Beautiful Dial Fully Serviced!!!Vintage Longines Gold Fill Dress Vintage Longines Qwr Gold Plaque Quartz Men's Dress WatchMens Art Moderne 1967 Longines Factory Vintage Silver Rectangular Watch 17jLongines Conquest Titanium Depose Chronograph Eta 251.251 Men's Watch Longines Hydroconquest L36404 Blue On Blue 39mm Ss Quartz Men's WatchMens Antique 1880s Longines Factory Vintage Engraved Skeleton Watch First SeriesLongines Conquest Automatic Gold Medal Cover Swiss Mechanical Watch Vintage ShopMens Longines 18kgp/st.steel Manual Winding Roman Gold DialAmazing Longines Special Series Charles Lindbergh Mans Wristwatch L 619.2Vintage 1957 Longines Stainless 19a Automatic 17 Jewel Wrist Watch - RunningLongines Hydroconquest Sport OriginalLongines Men's Vintage Automatic Gold-tone WristwatchLongines Presence Gents WatchMens Longines 18kgp/ St.steel Gold Dial Quartz RoundMens 1943 Longines 14k Solid Gold 17j Swiss 10l Cal. Vintage Military Dial WatchVintage Longines TankMen’s Vintage 17-jewel Longines Wrist WatchLongines For "tiffany & Co." Jumbo Sterling Case 31mm Square!!Mens Elegant Style Vintage Gold Watch 1928 Of Longines Factory Huge & HeavyLongines La Grande Classique L4.209.4 Stainless Steel Women's Dress WatchLongines Conquest L1.114.3 Ladies Quartz Watch Working Original 2 Tone BraceletLongines "mirage" Black Dial Thin Men's 5j Watch Cal L960.2 Runs Keeps TimeLongines Conquest Automatic 18k Solid Gold Men Wrist Watch W/date Runs #33-2-2Vintage Mens Longines Automatic Olympian Wristwatch Watch Case Movement Parts Longines 10k Goldfilled Handwind Mens Watch(open Thru Glass)Longines Caliber 290 Automatic 24 Jewels Vintage For Parts Spares & Repairs LotLongines Automatic Chronograph Master Men's Watch 37jewels Swiss Made Used Longines Automatic 5 Star Admiral Men 18k Solid Gold Wrist Watch W/date #62-1-2Men's Watch Lot,bulova Hamilton Benrus Waltham Longines Swiss Army Guess & MoreLongines Big Size Vintage Top Condition Men Wristwatch Swiss Made Caliber 27 M2x Men's Longines Wristwatches - Spares Repairs - Not Working18k Gold Longines Five Star Admiral Automatic Mens Solid Watch 34.5mmLongines Admiral Hf Ss With Manual Hacking Cal 6942 17 J Grey Dial Leather BandLot Of Watches And Watch Parts Breitling Dials Longines CrystalsLongines Master Moon Men's Chronograph Watch-authentic, Worn About 6 TimesLongines Wittnauer Automatic VintageVintage Longines Flagship Automatic Watch With Date! Longines Admiral Hf Steel Automatic Men's WatchVtge Very Rare Big Longines Tonneau Solid Silver. Perfect Porcelain Dial. 1929Nice Longines Charleston Watch Working,Vintage Longines 1960s 14kt Solid Gold WatchVintage Longines 10k Gold Filled 17 Jewel Gents Wrist Watch Ref 2513-370 W Band1961 Longines Watch Mystery Dial 17j White 10kt Gf Case Longines Crown & Buckle